Walking your dog is SO last year. Just kidding. It’s not. Walking your dog is very important to its health and happiness and still very much on trend.
But we have some other suggestions when it comes to exercising your dog. You’ll find these especially helpful when its -30 or +30 outside and Fido needs some exercise.
- Fetch. The most obvious suggestion. Toss a ball across the room or yard. Let you dog, wait for it, fetch it! Remember, a 10 foot throw means 20 feet of running for Fido. Excellent. If Fido doesn’t drop it when he comes back, use a second, equally interesting toy and throw that for him. At the beginning it is not necessary for your dog to drop the first toy. What is more important is that your dog does not learn to run away or not drop it for you.
- Up & Downs. Stand at the top of the stairs or a hill in a safe dog friendly area and toss a ball down. Encourage Fido to retrieve it. Consider this Fetch 2.0.
- High Jump. All you need is a carton or overturned chair and some encouragement for your dog to jump over. Raise the height as your dog becomes more limber.
- Use doors and gates. Have your dog sit every time you open a door. Think of the number of times you open and shut a door during the day. Fido will be tired and good at sit. That’s a win-win.
- “FIDO!” Coming when called is great exercise, especially if you have your dog running back and forth between two people.
- Name toys. Name your dog’s different toys. No need to get creative – a stuffed critter can be called ‘critter’ and a ball can be called ‘ball’. Tell Fido to get ‘critter’ while pointing at critter. When Fido seems to understand the game tell him to ‘Go get critter’. If he gets ‘critter’, praise and play with your dog using the toy. If he gets the wrong toy, ignore him and go get the right toy with him. Once Fido is skilled at this game, you can start hiding the toys to make the hunting experience more difficult and stimulating.
- Tricks. Dog tricks are fun for people and dogs. They’re also good to impress your friends with at parties.